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Star Wars: The Good, The Bad & The Indifferent

Star Wars: The Good, The Bad & The Indifferent

This article contains spoilers

Star Wars became a pop culture phenomenon the moment it hit the scene. The sweeping, adventurous science fiction space opera, filled with intense family drama, discovery of self, and inner strength has won the hearts of millions worldwide. Despite its ongoing success and ever-growing, deepening fan base I have yet to meet someone who loves every single film, animated series, video game, book, and graphic novel. The scope of the Star Wars universe is so vast and diverse that it has attracted just as a diverse audience who can’t seem to agree on what makes this universe so magical.  George Lucas revolutionized the film industry with his determination to bring his abstract ideas to life. Who would have thought an ongoing space drama would ignite the imagination of the whole world? 

Safe Space: The Original Trilogy

If someone told you they never watched Star Wars before, where would you make them start the story? The way George Lucas intended it? Episode IV, A New Hope? Or would you suggest starting at the beginning with Episode I, the Phantom Menace? I have heard of parents introducing their children to the saga in the sacrilegious way of starting with Episode I. Those poor misguided younglings… 

There is something sacred about the original trilogy. The saga started out as an underdog, with everyone involved having minimal expectations of its outcome. The success it saw overnight upon its release astounded it’s creators, paving the way for the next two installments. Out of the three original movies of the trilogy, everyone has their personal favorite, but everyone agrees the original trilogy is the best trilogy. It doesn’t matter which of the three movies you love:  A New Hope as it is the introduction into the universe we’ve all grown to love; The Empire Strikes Back is where we see new and diverse landscapes, learn more about the mysterious Force and see a budding romance between two very opposite beloved characters; or The Return of the Jedi where we see the rebellion finally claim victor over the evil Empire and a final resolution to the complex family issues that span two generations. 

 Do you remember the first time you watched these magnificent films? How did you feel then? How do you feel now when you revisit them?

 There is tangible magic that breathes life into Star Wars. We can all feel it. We get excited about it. Even casual fans are passionate about it. It is unanimous: the original trilogy is the best trilogy.

 What Happened: The Prequels

No one asked for it, but when we all first heard that the Star Wars universe would once again be gracing the silver screen we ALL were excited. Where would the story pick up? How would it be developed? How would George bridge the gap between the last generation to the next? How would Anakin Skywalker’s descent into darkness be brought to the fore and how would this all leave us feeling? 

When Episode I, The Phantom Menace, was released I was young enough to “enjoy” it for what it was. I had become a huge fan by the time I was twelve years old, but even at that young age, I wondered what the heck George was thinking. Nothing about the sequels was close to what I had remotely imagined the story would be like. When “Old Ben” briefly reminisces about his good friend Anakin Skywalker the storyline played out very differently in my mind from what George delivered to us as cannon. 

I will never forget the feeling of betrayal and utter disappointment as I watched, on premiere night Episode III. Unpopular opinion: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith is the worst of the prequels. Here is why: The first twenty minutes of the movie seemed like it was filmed by amateurs, in a silly, comedic blooper-like medley of insulting jibs and ridiculous puns as the fate of the Galactic Republic is at stake. Twenty minutes of film that should have hit the editing room floor and forgotten forever. Twenty minutes of on-screen time that could have been used to a sweeping portrayal of the downfall, the onslaught massacre of the Jedi. Instead, we get less than three full minutes to mourn the key figures of this endangered, almost extinct order, as Order 66 sweeps the galaxy. 

By the end of that film, I wanted to rage, as “Annie” did. This Annie is NOT okay. George got lost in the details, forgetting what mattered most. He lost focus, and those closest to him, in his creative realm, let him wander in the madness. He had forgotten the big picture and got sidetracked too many times along the way. The story we were left with was cobbled and lacking. The key players felt like cardboard cutout marionettes dancing to an off-kilter haunting unmelodic tune. 

I haven’t gone full dark side. Yet. There is some good that came from the prequels. Ewan McGregor was magnificent as Obi-Wan Kenobi. I am beyond excited to see him return. Duel of the Fates is one of the most memorable, intense pieces of classical music created in modern times. The lore of Darth Maul was so compelling that fans demanded he is resurrected from the dead and given a key role in the animated series the Clone Wars. We got introduced to Boba Fett’s back story.

For a clip of Duel of the Fates click below:

I have found in many discussions that younger people tend to like, even love the prequels. It’s what they grew up on. I can understand that, from a certain point of view.

What are some things that you enjoy about the prequels? 

The Mouse Becomes Our New Hope: The Sequels

Would you believe I predicted Disney would acquire Star Wars? I was ten years old and, in mixed company, someone asked me who my favorite princess was? I took a moment and thought about it. I wanted to say Ariel, but the moral of her story was to change yourself to find your prince. I wasn’t okay with that. Then, I wanted to say Belle, but she too sacrificed her independence at the incessant demands of a beast-man. Jasmine was a bit cocky to be a role model, running away from home thinking that’s how she could escape her problems. None of these princesses would do.

Who is the best princess? Princess Leia: composed, diplomatic, strong-willed, can handle herself when things get tough, not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, unwilling to change herself for a dashing, rascal smuggler. She is a true role model. 

I gave my answer: Princess Leia. I was told to pick a Disney princess. I refused and repeated my answer. “But she’s not a Disney princess!” “Yet,” I finished. The “yet” prompted a response from two grown men not even invested in the conversation. “That will never happen, little girl!” “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” were the unsolicited replies I received. What other Empire would have the resources to acquire Star Wars? There is only one answer: Disney. 

When I heard the news that Disney had officially acquired Star Wars and there was to be a sequel trilogy I was ecstatic. This news gave me a new hope (pun intended) that everything I had hoped to see would come to fruition. 

They did not disappoint. Love them or hate them, the sequels paved the way for our expanded view of the galaxy we love. As someone who has read every expanded universe novel, I have enjoyed watching the creators of the new stories pull influence and ideas from this lore and sculpt it into something new. New tales are being told within the universe, but the Galaxy still feels like home.

(Featured here is my personal Star Wars collection.)

Kylo Ren was everything his grandfather, Vader, should have been. I had been waiting to see a villain of his caliber since the original trilogy. I finally received him. The ongoing battle between dark & light, the return and departure of beloved old characters, and nostalgia re-lived was the cathartic experience we all were hoping for.

I do understand some of the gripes people have about the new trilogy, but overall I am willing to overlook some of their imperfections for what they have given us in return. Disney wants to give us fans what we want. They are listening. 

The Standalones 

Rogue One was a breath of fresh air for all of us tired of the Jedi/Sith drama. We got to see the story told from the point of view of the normal people of the galaxy fighting to make a difference. The execution of the film captured the Star Wars essence without trying too hard or making things feel forced. (No pun intended). I went to see it with some friends and afterward, I turned to them and said, “You ask me why I continue to read Star Wars books and keep up on the lore. THIS is why. These are the stories I keep tuning in for.” 

Solo: A Star Wars Story was a fun ride. Alden Ehrenreich was an odd choice for me as a young Han, but I did my best to enjoy the story for what it was. There will only be one Han Solo: Harrison Ford. 

When it’s Mando season, every Friday or Saturday you get asked, “Have you watched the Mandalorian yet?” Everyone wants to know if it’s “safe” to talk about the new episode. The hype for what is going to happen next is alive and well. The story is beautifully crafted and delivered and we are compelled to stick with our favorite characters as they brush shoulders with some key players for the galaxy at large. 

Jon Favreau gets it. He understands the bigger picture. He is creating with all of us in mind. For this, I am thankful. I hope to see this mentality from creators in the future for the next Star Wars projects. 

 

Epilogue

Star Wars is a story that binds us together, flowing through our imaginations, keeping the human spirit bound to the determination to make the galaxy a better place. Whatever story, timeline, or character you are drawn to keep the imagination alive for the next generations.

Why do you love Star Wars? Share with me in the comments so we can keep the lore alive.

Star Wars: The Good, The Bad & The Indifferent

Star Wars: The Good, The Bad & The Indifferent

This article contains spoilers

Star Wars became a pop culture phenomenon the moment it hit the scene. The sweeping, adventurous science fiction space opera, filled with intense family drama, discovery of self, and inner strength has won the hearts of millions worldwide. Despite its ongoing success and ever-growing, deepening fan base I have yet to meet someone who loves every single film, animated series, video game, book, and graphic novel. The scope of the Star Wars universe is so vast and diverse that it has attracted just as a diverse audience who can’t seem to agree on what makes this universe so magical.  George Lucas revolutionized the film industry with his determination to bring his abstract ideas to life. Who would have thought an ongoing space drama would ignite the imagination of the whole world? 

Safe Space: The Original Trilogy

If someone told you they never watched Star Wars before, where would you make them start the story? The way George Lucas intended it? Episode IV, A New Hope? Or would you suggest starting at the beginning with Episode I, the Phantom Menace? I have heard of parents introducing their children to the saga in the sacrilegious way of starting with Episode I. Those poor misguided younglings… 

There is something sacred about the original trilogy. The saga started out as an underdog, with everyone involved having minimal expectations of its outcome. The success it saw overnight upon its release astounded it’s creators, paving the way for the next two installments. Out of the three original movies of the trilogy, everyone has their personal favorite, but everyone agrees the original trilogy is the best trilogy. It doesn’t matter which of the three movies you love:  A New Hope as it is the introduction into the universe we’ve all grown to love; The Empire Strikes Back is where we see new and diverse landscapes, learn more about the mysterious Force and see a budding romance between two very opposite beloved characters; or The Return of the Jedi where we see the rebellion finally claim victor over the evil Empire and a final resolution to the complex family issues that span two generations. 

 Do you remember the first time you watched these magnificent films? How did you feel then? How do you feel now when you revisit them?

 There is tangible magic that breathes life into Star Wars. We can all feel it. We get excited about it. Even casual fans are passionate about it. It is unanimous: the original trilogy is the best trilogy.

 What Happened: The Prequels

No one asked for it, but when we all first heard that the Star Wars universe would once again be gracing the silver screen we ALL were excited. Where would the story pick up? How would it be developed? How would George bridge the gap between the last generation to the next? How would Anakin Skywalker’s descent into darkness be brought to the fore and how would this all leave us feeling? 

When Episode I, The Phantom Menace, was released I was young enough to “enjoy” it for what it was. I had become a huge fan by the time I was twelve years old, but even at that young age, I wondered what the heck George was thinking. Nothing about the sequels was close to what I had remotely imagined the story would be like. When “Old Ben” briefly reminisces about his good friend Anakin Skywalker the storyline played out very differently in my mind from what George delivered to us as cannon. 

I will never forget the feeling of betrayal and utter disappointment as I watched, on premiere night Episode III. Unpopular opinion: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith is the worst of the prequels. Here is why: The first twenty minutes of the movie seemed like it was filmed by amateurs, in a silly, comedic blooper-like medley of insulting jibs and ridiculous puns as the fate of the Galactic Republic is at stake. Twenty minutes of film that should have hit the editing room floor and forgotten forever. Twenty minutes of on-screen time that could have been used to a sweeping portrayal of the downfall, the onslaught massacre of the Jedi. Instead, we get less than three full minutes to mourn the key figures of this endangered, almost extinct order, as Order 66 sweeps the galaxy. 

By the end of that film, I wanted to rage, as “Annie” did. This Annie is NOT okay. George got lost in the details, forgetting what mattered most. He lost focus, and those closest to him, in his creative realm, let him wander in the madness. He had forgotten the big picture and got sidetracked too many times along the way. The story we were left with was cobbled and lacking. The key players felt like cardboard cutout marionettes dancing to an off-kilter haunting unmelodic tune. 

I haven’t gone full dark side. Yet. There is some good that came from the prequels. Ewan McGregor was magnificent as Obi-Wan Kenobi. I am beyond excited to see him return. Duel of the Fates is one of the most memorable, intense pieces of classical music created in modern times. The lore of Darth Maul was so compelling that fans demanded he is resurrected from the dead and given a key role in the animated series the Clone Wars. We got introduced to Boba Fett’s back story.

For a clip of Duel of the Fates click below:

I have found in many discussions that younger people tend to like, even love the prequels. It’s what they grew up on. I can understand that, from a certain point of view.

What are some things that you enjoy about the prequels? 

The Mouse Becomes Our New Hope: The Sequels

Would you believe I predicted Disney would acquire Star Wars? I was ten years old and, in mixed company, someone asked me who my favorite princess was? I took a moment and thought about it. I wanted to say Ariel, but the moral of her story was to change yourself to find your prince. I wasn’t okay with that. Then, I wanted to say Belle, but she too sacrificed her independence at the incessant demands of a beast-man. Jasmine was a bit cocky to be a role model, running away from home thinking that’s how she could escape her problems. None of these princesses would do.

Who is the best princess? Princess Leia: composed, diplomatic, strong-willed, can handle herself when things get tough, not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, unwilling to change herself for a dashing, rascal smuggler. She is a true role model. 

I gave my answer: Princess Leia. I was told to pick a Disney princess. I refused and repeated my answer. “But she’s not a Disney princess!” “Yet,” I finished. The “yet” prompted a response from two grown men not even invested in the conversation. “That will never happen, little girl!” “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” were the unsolicited replies I received. What other Empire would have the resources to acquire Star Wars? There is only one answer: Disney. 

When I heard the news that Disney had officially acquired Star Wars and there was to be a sequel trilogy I was ecstatic. This news gave me a new hope (pun intended) that everything I had hoped to see would come to fruition. 

They did not disappoint. Love them or hate them, the sequels paved the way for our expanded view of the galaxy we love. As someone who has read every expanded universe novel, I have enjoyed watching the creators of the new stories pull influence and ideas from this lore and sculpt it into something new. New tales are being told within the universe, but the Galaxy still feels like home.

(Featured here is my personal Star Wars collection.)

Kylo Ren was everything his grandfather, Vader, should have been. I had been waiting to see a villain of his caliber since the original trilogy. I finally received him. The ongoing battle between dark & light, the return and departure of beloved old characters, and nostalgia re-lived was the cathartic experience we all were hoping for.

I do understand some of the gripes people have about the new trilogy, but overall I am willing to overlook some of their imperfections for what they have given us in return. Disney wants to give us fans what we want. They are listening. 

The Standalones 

Rogue One was a breath of fresh air for all of us tired of the Jedi/Sith drama. We got to see the story told from the point of view of the normal people of the galaxy fighting to make a difference. The execution of the film captured the Star Wars essence without trying too hard or making things feel forced. (No pun intended). I went to see it with some friends and afterward, I turned to them and said, “You ask me why I continue to read Star Wars books and keep up on the lore. THIS is why. These are the stories I keep tuning in for.” 

Solo: A Star Wars Story was a fun ride. Alden Ehrenreich was an odd choice for me as a young Han, but I did my best to enjoy the story for what it was. There will only be one Han Solo: Harrison Ford. 

When it’s Mando season, every Friday or Saturday you get asked, “Have you watched the Mandalorian yet?” Everyone wants to know if it’s “safe” to talk about the new episode. The hype for what is going to happen next is alive and well. The story is beautifully crafted and delivered and we are compelled to stick with our favorite characters as they brush shoulders with some key players for the galaxy at large. 

Jon Favreau gets it. He understands the bigger picture. He is creating with all of us in mind. For this, I am thankful. I hope to see this mentality from creators in the future for the next Star Wars projects. 

 

Epilogue

Star Wars is a story that binds us together, flowing through our imaginations, keeping the human spirit bound to the determination to make the galaxy a better place. Whatever story, timeline, or character you are drawn to keep the imagination alive for the next generations.

Why do you love Star Wars? Share with me in the comments so we can keep the lore alive.

The Magic Of TV And Film Scores

The Magic Of TV And Film Scores

What makes a movie memorable?  Is it the writing of the script?  Is it the performance of the actors?  Is it the cinematography, CGI, or set design?  In truth, every single one of these items contributes to the lasting impression a good movie or show can leave.  The directing, camera shots, and acting all play an incredibly important role in how a movie is produced and finalized into a finished product.  However, there is one role within a movie that often gets overlooked or doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves. I’m talking about the ever-important role of the movie score!

This invisible presence in a movie has more impact than most people realize.  Imagine this scenario; during an action sequence of Die Hard, you hear a love melody.  Insert confused meme here!  It wouldn’t have the same effect as the fun, action-filled music sequence Michael Kamen was able to put together for it!  The role of a movie soundtrack is more than just filling the theatre with sound and noise; movies can do enough of that on their own.  No, the role of a movie score is to provide depth, adventure, sorrow, familiarity, and a sense of knowing as a movie progresses.

Have you ever heard a song and gotten goosebumps?  Have you ever heard a song from a movie and it instantly transports you back to the scene you know it from?  This is the magic of a well-incorporated score.  I would like to open this to more than just movies.  One of the scores that really sticks out to me is that of the world-renowned TV series Game of Thrones.  If you are able to tear your eyes away from the handsome actors and beautiful actresses and listen to the music, you will hear familiar melodic choruses, moving and manipulating the emotion of the scene depending on what is happening, or about to happen, in the show.

Take the Stark family theme, for example.  The long, slow movements of the violin almost always incur tears of sorrow, due to their misfortune throughout most of the show.  The only time it can be conceived as positive is when one family member meets up with another.  It is a familiar tune we’ve become accustomed to hearing and are able to almost subconsciously know the direction the scene is going based on if we hear it or not.

For another example, listen to the Lannister theme.  This is a some-what jovial tune that can be transitioned to incredibly sinister with the simple change of pace (and timing).  Typically, it is heard once the Lannisters have been victorious, or carried out some evil scheme (*ahem*, Season 3 anyone?).  Once again, it is a tune we became familiar with that almost provides us with a premonition of what is about to happen. The viewers themselves become the Three-eyed Crow, instinctively and subconsciously expecting what will happen next (see what I did there?).

All of this is to say that the importance of a seemingly simple instrumental collaboration is unequal to any other part of a production in portraying the director’s vision on-screen.  Music has an amazing ability to turn a sad scene, into a tear-jerking scene.  Or an action sequence, into a curse-word inducing fun time. 

If you would like to hear a compilation of some of the best of Game of Thrones click the link below:

The other fun aspect of all of this is how you are able to tell who composed a specific movie without looking it up.  Many of you may not know the name John Williams (am I aging myself yet?) but many of you will recognize the movies Star Wars, E.T. The Extra-terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Superman, etc.  If you listen to each of these individual soundtracks, you will hear raucous horns (trumpets) that mimic that of Gustav Holst’s’ The Planets. Each soundtrack, respectively, carries an impressive single melody, and builds from there, typically beginning with the trumpet.  If you listen to Batman by Danny Elfman, you will hear a quieter approach to a single melody, with a build-up of several instruments instead of relying on one.  *Fun fact about Danny Elfman, he was in a rock band called Oingo Boingo and had never composed a movie until Tim Burton asked him to write the music for The Nightmare Before Christmas, which he also sang as Jack Skellington!  He has since composed over 100 feature film scores, including 16 Burton-directed films. (Wikipedia, “Danny Elfman,” n.d.)

Danny Elfman performing as Jack Skellington

The final example I would like to provide is that of the beautiful Marvel cinematic universe.  Ramin Djawadi (who did Game of Thrones) opened us up with Iron Man.  (I would love for anyone to spot the similarities in those soundtracks- they are there!)  Only one composer did a total of 4 of those movies, which is the most done by one single composer in that entire universe! That composer is Alan Silvestri, who also composed one of the most hummable and enjoyable soundtracks in the 80s which is Back to the Future.  Michael Giacchino even had a hand in the Marvel universe (he also did the new Star Trek films and Jurassic World.)  All in all, there were 14 different composers, including Henry Jackman (UNCHARTED 4 THEME!!) that had a hand in the Marvel movies.  However, there was always 1 Music Supervisor for them all, being Dave Jordan.  This is the magic and marvel (HA) of movie scores.  Not only is it a seemingly small world in TV and film making, but each one of these composers was able to reference the work of another MCU composer, to retain a similar sound throughout, all while properly providing an individual theme per the respective main character of that movie.  How amazing is that?!

For a compilation of some of the many songs throughout the Marvel Universe check out the link below:

 

I hope this sparks a curiosity in someone to perk up when watching a new (or old!) TV show or movie to listen to the beauty behind the visuals.  The magic in scores is emphasizing the meaning behind every scene and connecting a theme with a completely curated world.  No other part of a movie or TV show allows you to connect so immediately to that world, than simply listening to a theme.   Perhaps you are a person that doesn’t pay attention to that at all, which is completely common!  I do, however, urge you to begin to listen even a little bit, to allow the world of a show or movie you love to open up that much more for you.  I promise you won’t regret it.

 What movie score transports you back to a particular movie? Feel free to leave your comments below. 

Did the Mandalorian Save Star Wars?

Did the Mandalorian Save Star Wars?

So, here is the thing.

You were very excited when Disney brought back Star Wars and choked on your food when the Millennium Falcon took flight at the end of the first ‘Force Awakens’ teaser. Correct me if I am wrong.

Then you went in, watched it, cried, realized it was a nostalgia piece, but it was still your favorite thing in the Universe. Last Jedi rolled in and you either went to the group that hates everything about it, because it is NOT ‘Star Wars’ enough and god forbid forced new things down your throat… or… you were in the other group where you loved it so much, because of the new perspective and new introduction, that you celebrate it to this day. There’s no middle ground (or high ground) in this conversation, but let me remind you all, that when it first came out ‘Empire Strikes Back’ was just as dividing among fans.

And then… Rise of Skywalker arrived. You heard the Emperor’s laugh at the end of the first teaser and you facepalmed yourself so hard that your head actually fell off. Disney got scared. Brought back, Abrams. They basically rewrote every change that Last Jedi invented and chose the safest route with Palpatine. What were the results? The most painful Star Wars movie to watch with unnecessary fan service. So, all together we can say that Disney’s renewal of the Skywalker-saga wasn’t as successful as they hoped it would be. I mean… It was successful when you were looking at the box office, but you know what I mean. Sure, they released Rogue One separately from the Skywalkers and it was like a breath of fresh air (and for yours truly was the best thing since the original trilogy) and they brought in Solo as well, but that was nothing but a fun entrance really.

We can say that Star Wars fans were not really hopeful. But then! Something truly magical happened. In between ‘The Last Jedi’ and ‘Rise of Skywalker’ a new series snuck into view about the cutest being in the Star Wars Universe… wait! Hold on. What? It’s not about the cutest being? It’s not even called ‘The Child’? Have I been living a lie? Fine… A new series came into view about The Mandalorian. You know, Boba and Jango Fett, Sabine, etc. You could tell from the very first episode that the Mandalorian will finally be something that makes all hearts beat together.

Why? You may ask. 

Well, first and foremost, yes it does have a nostalgia feel to it, just like the new trilogy (Force Awakens especially). What makes it different from those though is the balance that they were able to hold throughout the episodes. It always had enough to make fans smile and gasp, but at the same time was able to introduce new stories and characters that you can grow to love later on. Meaning: Nostalgia did NOT overshadow the new world. 

They were also able to expand the Universe, something that many fans were looking forward to while keeping the familiar feel to everything in it. Just like they did in ‘Clone Wars’ and ‘Rebels’ so smartly they included enough familiar places and also races for us to be able to adjust to the new things, exactly how they did with the nostalgia feel. On top of that they started to bring in things from the animated shows that many people fell in love with. If you watch an episode more mindfully, even the structure they have is very similar to Clone Wars, but it obviously does have a more continuous-nature since it only follows Mando and the Child’s journey. Disney, if you ask me, learned from the mistakes of the new trilogy and trusted Jon Favreau enough to give him much needed free reign over the series. Favreau is a Star Wars fan, just like Abrams is a fan too, but for me personally, it is very visible which one of them had much more freedom with what they were given. 

It brings in the cutest being as well, who immediately builds up a cult following, and no, I will not shut up about it. The Child, or shall I say, Baby Yoda came in like a thunderstorm and lifted  Star Wars up into new heights and brought in new fans. The relationship between him and Mando became the stuff of legends. What is a better recipe for success than a kid stuck together with a grumpy old man as they go on new adventures every week? And on top of that, the kid is actually a mini Jedi… Say WHAAAT? I remember that there were a lot of speculations before the series came out if it will include any Jedi or not. I can safely say that none of us were expecting what we’ve got, but we are very satisfied. For a very very long time, George Lucas didn’t really let anyone touch on the questions around Master Yoda, we were never introduced to another one of his kind and there were a lot of questions about it. This points right back to what I said before: The Kid himself is familiar, fans quickly put the name ‘Baby Yoda’ on him, therefore, it builds on the familiarity and nostalgia, but we are finding out different things about him therefore it brings in the new. Perfect balance. 

We arrived at the pivotal point here. Where everything comes together smoothly and it does not feel forced or too much. The Mandalorian introduced Bo-Katan (played beautifully by Katee Sackhoff) and connected it to the season 1 ending with Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and the Darksaber. Then it brought in Ahsoka Tano with the perfect choice for the role: Rosario Dawson. And on top of all this, we got back Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen). Familiar names, right? Fan favorites, right? Fan Service. Done. Right. Yes, I said it. All these beloved characters came back for a reason, they had a purpose and it wasn’t JUST done in the name of fan service. Example: The Darksaber, known by fans from Clone Wars and Rebels, showed up at the end of season one. It made sense that someone from Mandalore would come for it and the safest bet was Sabine or Bo Katan. We got the latter. The search for the Jedi. Candidates? Luke Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, a big maybe on Ezra. We got Ahsoka. Was it fan service as well? Yes. Does it still make sense? Also yes. Fennec, we knew she would be alive as it was shown at the end of her season one episode that someone picked her up. That someone happened to be Bobba Fett. Fan service? Yes. Does it work? Yes. Where the new trilogy went completely sideways with this was the fact that they opened a new storyline with Last Jedi, it was different, it was innovative, but it did have backlash. What happened? It scared Disney. How did they want to sort it out? By bringing in the well-known even if it doesn’t make any sense at all (nostalgia) and pump it up with fan service but going completely the wrong way about it. 

Jon Favreau shall be forever praised for his true understanding of the Star Wars Universe and what makes it work exactly. He came in and he was able to pull off something that seemed impossible: Create something Star Wars related that can appeal to everyone in One Way or Another. A New Hope is on the horizon. 

The Child (sorry, now we know his name) Grogu and Mando’s journey will continue on Friday only on Disney+  and they will return with season 3 next year Christmas day. 

How do you feel about the Mandalorian? Do you feel that it has saved Star Wars or just added to the magic? 

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